Phil Salt savors England T20 debut despite defeat in Barbados

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Phil Salt spent a good part of his childhood growing up in Barbados, so he enjoyed making his Twenty20 debut for England at the Kensington Oval despite a 20-run loss against the West Indies.

Rovman Powell’s muscular inaugural T20 international century, with six charges, carried the Windies to a formidable 224 for five after England’s deputy captain Moeen Ali asked them to bat first with Eoin Morgan nursing a quad problem.

Tom Banton’s 73-for-39 shooting gave England hope of achieving their third-highest chase in the format before his fall led to Salt hijacking the response from the tourists with a sumptuous 22-ball half-century.

Salt, who lived on the Caribbean island for half a dozen years after his family moved from North Wales when he was nine, was hit 57 from 24 balls as England recorded 204 from nine to go down 2-1 in the five-game series. matches. .

Despite the defeat, Salt was able to reflect with some satisfaction as he took his bow in a place where he played a lot of youth cricket and saw England win their first world trophy in the 2010 World Twenty20.

He said: “It was great to play here, it’s a ground I’ve seen England play on so many times.

“I’ve seen them win a World Cup here and I’ve seen almost every heat I could when they were here. Making my debut on the field is incredible.”

While Salt is more used to starting in the sprint format, being asked to hit in the middle order isn’t a unique experience for the 25-year-old, as he has occasionally done so on the franchise’s lucrative circuit.

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It was great to play here, it’s a ground I’ve seen England play many times.

phil salt

He believes that being prepared to accelerate early on means he can adapt to batting at any position after walking into the crease with a much-changed England line-up four wickets down and still needs 118 for victory.

Asked what was on his mind at the time, he said: “Winning the match. It’s very, very clear when you walk into this group, the mindset you need to have. Winning the game was the only thing on his mind at the time.

“The role that I had is one that I enjoy doing, the game is always in front of you when you go in and chase it, you know exactly what you have to do.

“It’s a skill that not a lot of guys have, so if you can get good at it, it’s definitely an important weapon in your arsenal.

“Sometimes you get tied up a little bit when you open, when the field is up, but with everyone behind and the scoreboard looking like it was, it was very clear what I had to do.”

Phil Salt played three one-day internationals for England last summer (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA file)

Salt has been capped at three one-day events but was making his first T20 appearance for England alongside international debutants George Garton and Harry Brook, and new signing from Lancashire found out on Wednesday.

Added Salt: “I think Bilbo (Sam Billings) wasn’t the best, comeback-wise, after the last two games, so that’s when I knew he had the go-ahead.”

There were 31 sixes in total in a tough night for the bowlers at Bridgetown, with Powell celebrating his retirement (entered at the expense of Odean Smith) with a top 10 and becoming the third West Indies T20 Centurion.

His efforts, allied with Nicholas Pooran’s 70 from 43 balls in a 122-run position, the Windies’ highest third-wicket T20 association, led the Islanders to their best ever total against England in the format.

Powell, who was out 107 of 53 balls, said: “It means a lot. For the last six or seven months, I had a hard time not scoring a lot of runs. It’s good for me to have the opportunity and take advantage of it.

“I hope it will be a revolutionary international performance. It’s just for me to go back to the drawing board, think about the things I did well and hopefully I can replicate them on Saturday (match 4).”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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